Character Counts! Scholarship

About the Scholarship

The Big Sky State Games has teamed up with the CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition and Kenco Security and Technology to recognize the importance of sportsmanship and character in Montana student athletes. CHARACTER COUNTS! is a nonprofit organization striving to improve the character of today’s youth. It is based on common ethical values that transcend political, religious, socio-economic and cultural differences. Called the “Six Pillars of Character,” these values are: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. Character Counts! Scholarship is sponsored by Kenco Security and Technology.

Over the past ten years, the Big Sky State Games has awarded the Character Counts! Scholarship to outstanding Montana female and male student-citizen-athletes involved in the Big Sky State Games. The scholarship can be used for any secondary education after high school. This includes trade schools and community colleges.

Download 2014 Application

Presented By:

2013 Winners

Mikaela Robinson

Mikaela Robinson has participated in Track and Field (eleven years), Basketball (nine years), and Soccer (one year) at the Big Sky State Games. Robinson is a three sport athlete at Billings West High participating in Track and Field, Basketball and Soccer. Robinson is active member in her high school community including: Honor Roll, Youth Leadership of Billings Member, National Honors Society Member, and Student Council all four years. She has received a number of awards throughout her three years including All- Academic Team for all three of her sports, and West High Lady Bear Basketball Best Sportsmanship Award. In the summers Mikaela works in the concession stands for Pioneer Baseball League.


Sara Heard

Sara Heard has been a participant in Basketball (six years) and Soccer (four years) at the Big Sky State Games. Heard has participated in the Billings Senior High Basketball and Soccer programs. She volunteers as a Big Sister in the Big Brother-Big Sister program, she is an active member of her church and is involved with their Interfaith Hospitality Network. Heard is a member of Senior High’s Student Council and the National Honors Society. She has received Academic All-State in both Soccer and Basketball two years in a row. Sara is now employed at Hilands Golf Club.


James Riley

James Riley participated in Basketball (two years) at the Big Sky State Games. Riley is very involved at Broadus High, where he has participated in Varsity Football, Basketball. He is an Honor Roll student, a member of the National Honor Society, and has received the Math Counts Award. In addition, he volunteers his time in his church community and is an active member in his school’s SADD program. He is now working as a Ranch Hand for his family.


Logan Laird

Logan Laird has actively participated in the both Basketball (three years) and Track and Field (six years) at the Big Sky State Games. Laird is quite involved at with the Billings West High community as a member of the Key Club and BPA, as well as a student on the Honor Roll. He is also a three sport athlete for West playing in Football, Basketball, and Track & Field. He has received the Principal Award, Academic All- State in both Football and Basketball, and Iron Bear in Track. Among all this he finds time to volunteer around the Billings community at the Billings Food Bank or participating in programs like Dress a Child.

Previous Winners

 YearNameCity
2012Ashton McLaughlinHelena
 Martha DembekWinnett
 Michael SchwehrLavina
 Nick StaffilenoBillings
2011Alain JacobsenBaker
 Zach HolmesBillings
 Brianna Jo RobinsonBillings
 Emily Grace WalkerHuntley
2010Lindsey FlemingBillings
 Taylor KufeldBillings
 Ryan HensleighColstrip
 Anthony BengocheaNashua
2009Ashley CroweBillings
 Kacie ChatwoodBillings
 Thomas BonogofskyBelfry
 Thomas StaffilenoBillings
2008Cord BlanchardGreat Falls
 Emily CarrollBillings
 Kylie Medicine HorsePryor
 Tim KienitzBillings
2007Auriele FainBillings
 Casey RogersBillings
   Stephanie StremchaHavre
 Rick HaluszkaHarlem
2006Bridgett HoenkeBillings
 Leo DavisBillings
2005Ashley GrammensLavina
 Chad McMillanBillings
2004Alexa McLaughlinHelena
 Josh HedgeBillings
2003Allison PetersonSidney
 Chris BlanchardGreat Falls
2002Sara PattersonGreat Falls
 Patrick RileyBozeman
2001  Hannah Warfield  Sydney
   Shane Hensleigh  Colstrip
2000  Jenny Doely  Billings
   Jeff Graham  Chester